Nico Rosberg claimed an unexpected pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix after posting two laps good enough for top spot in the third and final session.
The German was one of only four drivers to complete two runs in the ten-minute session, and was rewarded when his 1min 32.330secs second effort went unmatched, helping Mercedes claim its first back-to-back poles since the 1950s….
Sebastian Vettel will start second on Sunday afternoon after getting to within a couple of tenths of Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso decided to rely on his opening salvo after making a mistake second time around and pitting before he crossed the line.
Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber completed the top five, but will both take penalties before they line up on the grid on Sunday, promoting Felipe Massa – the lone runner on the hard Pirelli tyre – Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil. Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button, who both escaped the Q2 drop zone late on, rounded out the top ten, with the Briton opting not to complete his only flying lap.
Full combined qualifying report now available.
Full qualifying times also available.